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The "Unconscious" Rules

Posted March 4, 2014 by dustproduction in Open

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commented on Oct. 21, 2014
by dustproduction

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18

Many of the conversations here at IONS are focused on the wrong aspect of our human experience; we're focused on consciousness.
The "Un-" aspect of the consciousness, what is commonly and ambiguously referred to as "unconsciousness," represents 70% our mental activity. Consciousness represents a mere 5%, with physiology taking up the remaining 25%.

These is the research being referred to in the sake of this discussion, it supports the notion that exploring the unconscious is much more interesting than the conscious.
There are several versions of this research on the web. It appeared in Scientific American, but I'll provided these links:

video
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/unconscious-rules-video/

actual paper
http://www.yale.edu/acmelab/articles/Bargh_Morsella_Unconscious_Mind.pdf

Why are we not discussing what is commonly and ambiguously referred to as "unconsciousness."

  • 18 Comments  
  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Oct 21, 2014

    http://www.mpg.de/8425992/seat-of-consciousness?filter_order=L&research_topic=

    At least two regions of the brain decide what we perceive

    "Our brain processes these impressions without us noticing. But where does the brain decide which sensory information should reach our consciousness and which should not? "

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 24, 2014

    As much as the term consciousness is repeated in the comments of other few can have a intelligent discussion about the merits of the unconscious.
    These are the conversations that demonstrate the range of what we have learned about the mind, but rather than forge an understanding of the science, people cannot let go of their magical thinking.

  • Hellseer May 11, 2014

    I was going to write something different to what I'm about to say but had a think. It's entirely possible to train in good stuff such that it is in fact unconscious, like manners for example.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 10, 2014

    "Turns out, it wasn’t the devil that made you do it. It was your “hidden brain.” That’s what Shankar Vedantam suggested at a recent lecture on unconscious bias at work, part of the 2013-2014 Deputy Director for Management Seminar Series. Vedantam said he “coined the term ‘hidden brain’ to describe mental activities that happen outside our conscious awareness.

    “Is it possible,” he wondered, “that some of the [health] disparities we’re seeing are not the result of bad people behaving badly, but of well-intentioned people who are unintentionally doing the wrong thing? Is it possible that unconscious biases of well-intentioned people are responsible for these disparities that we observe?”

    http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov/newsletters/2014/05_09_2014/story1.htm

  • NoetPoet Apr 29, 2014

    @Dina

    Freedom is a relative concept: you are either free *of* or *from* something. People also talk about freedom “to” do/be/have something, but a freedom “to” do/be/have something can also be regarded as a freedom “of” or “from” something else. Simply put, I regard “free” as meaning “not constrained”. So in what way(s) would a “free” will be unconstrained? Would it not be subject to the control or influence of other minds? Would it be unconstrained by the need to think logically and rationally? Perhaps it might even not even be constrained by the need to operate in a causality-based manner?

    Those three options all seem very different, but together the point to a key dilemma regarding free will: at what point does a person stop saying that they made a decision “of my own free will” and start saying that a decision was forced upon them? How many times have you heard people say “in the end, I had no choice but to (insert decision here)”?

    Furthermore, if we take the idea of “free” meaning “not constrained” to its logical conclusion, then wouldn’t that mean that the only kind of truly “free” will would be no will (and no mind) at all?

  • Dina grutzendler Apr 29, 2014

    Dear NoetPoet

    Your answer is interesting

    "Whenever I encounter the phrase "free will" I always ask myself: free of what?"

    What do you mean?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 30, 2014

    See Daniel Kahneman's book, "Thinking: Fast & Slow"

    In the book's first section, Kahneman describes the two different ways the brain forms thoughts:
    System 1: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious
    System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious
    Kahneman covers a number of experiments which purport to highlight the differences between these two thought processes, and how they arrive at different results even given the same inputs. Terms and concepts include coherence, attention, laziness, association, jumping to conclusions and how one forms judgments.

    A simplistic version of his ideas are presented here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiTz2i4VHFw#t=178

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 30, 2014

    Subconsciousness? Is that a serious reply?

  • NoetPoet Mar 30, 2014

    Whenever I encounter the phrase "free will" I always ask myself: free of what?

  • Dina grutzendler Mar 30, 2014


    According to what I have read, in many repeated experiments, it is seen that the subconscious is the one that takes the decisions. Our conscious being goes ahead with the decision that the subconscious had already taken about 6 to 8 seconds before, and then our conscious being "acts".
    This creates a lot of doubts regarding free will.
    what do you think?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 25, 2014

    In two experiments, researchers from the University of California-Berkeley found people are better at detecting deception using indirect methods that tap into their unconscious minds. They conclude our conscious minds, hobbled by commonly held misbeliefs, tend to trip us up.

    http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/unconscious-mind-better-detecting-lies-77368/

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 14, 2014

    Consciousness is typically construed as being explainable purely in terms of either private, raw feels or higher-order, reflective representations. In contrast to this false dichotomy, we propose a new view of consciousness as an interactive, plastic phenomenon open to sociocultural influence. - See more at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00020/full#sthash.zZipjJuf.dpuf

    Being open to sociocultural influence. How does this work? Doesn't most of this fall to the unconscious? Are "encultured social practices that depend upon and influence phenomenal and reflective consciousness." the problem that most blame for their own inability to develop a higher conscious?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 08, 2014

    Re: Our ego resists knowledge of it's insignificance because as we awaken to the true nature of our oneness it must fade away and be seen as a side effect of spiritual enlightenment.

    Connect the dots for us. This research paper does not address ego or spirituality or enlightenment. Is this your personal ruminations?
    If it is I suggest reading the research paper, or listening to the video?

  • Anonymous Icon

    graybear Mar 08, 2014

    I think it interesting that consciousness is around 5% of our mental activity and that what we are conscious of is around 5% of the universe. Could it be possible that unconscious awareness (95%) creates consciousness (5%)? Our ego resists knowledge of it's insignificance because as we awaken to the true nature of our oneness it must fade away and be seen as a side effect of spiritual enlightenment.

    regards gray

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 07, 2014

    See-through brains

    Scientists have come up with a way to make whole brains transparent, so they can be labelled with molecular markers and imaged using a light microscope. The technique, called CLARITY, enabled its creators to produce the detailed 3D visualisations you see in this video. It works in mouse brains and human brains; here the team use it to look into the brain of a 7-year-old boy who had autism.

    Read the research paper: Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological

    10 April 2013

    http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/brains/index.html

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 05, 2014

    Thank you for your comments.
    I think you might be on to something here. If there is a belief in something that is transcendent in humans, we need to cultivate it and bring about this elevated "higher self."
    How would we do this with the unconscious part on ourselves? It is the unknown part and therefore we ignore it and pretend it is a mystery when it is not.

  • NoetPoet Mar 04, 2014

    Another thing: delving too much into the unconscious mind poses the risk that we may uncover unpalatable truths about so-called paranormal and psychic abilities, not to mention about our own characters and motivations...

  • NoetPoet Mar 04, 2014

    My guess: Because people fetishize "consciousness" much like they fetishize quantum physics. Moreover, it's quite clear that IONS has an ideological agenda based around 'raising consciousness' because consciousness is associated with spiritual growth and enlightenment. The implied corollary to this is that "unconsciousness" has unpleasant connotations and is something to be avoided.

    Good to have you back by the way :)

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